Conversations about race and equity are often missing from discussions of special education, particularly in teacher education. However, in a system where students of color make up half of those receiving special education services while fewer than 18% of special education teachers are people of color, race, and equity are essential topics. But are teacher educators prepared to address these issues? And how can we support teacher educators in their endeavors to do so? These are topics that panelists Erica McCray and Mildred Boveda will address in the upcoming AACTE webinar, “Race and Equity in Special Education.”
When Mildred Boveda, associate professor of special education at Penn State University, was filling out some basic forms required for an academic appointment, she came to a question that made her pause:
Which of these best describes your race/ethnicity?
- White/ Non-Hispanic
- Black/ Non-Hispanic
The list went on.
Boveda, an Afro-Latina woman of Dominican descent and complex intersecting identities, had always felt more at home in the Black community. But the erasure of her Latina roots, even just through a checkmark, was not something she could reconcile with.
She checked Hispanic.